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Verry Elleegant set for big Deauville race

Verry Elleegant could make her first European start in August as her new trainer considers a bid for the Prix Rothschild at Deauville.

Previously a sensation in Australia, connections surprised racing fans in April when sending the mare to continue her career at the stable of Francis-Henri Graffard in Chantilly, France, citing a lack of opportunities in the southern hemisphere as the reason for the move.

Under the care of Chris Waller, Verry Elleegant won 11 Group One races over a range of distances from seven furlongs to two miles, including the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Fillies & Mares Stakes on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot were both mentioned as possible targets and moving the six-year-old to a European base was seen as the way forward.

Graffard has picked up where Waller left off and has an eye on Deauville’s Prix Rothschild as a starting point, a Group One event run over a mile for fillies and mares.

Only once Verry Elleegant, a winner over trips varying from seven furlongs to two miles, has made her first start in France will Graffard begin to plot the rest of her campaign.

“She is well, she might be ready for the Prix Rothschild at Deauville on August 2,” said Graffard.

“That will be her first start and then we will take it from there.”

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